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My client previously had issues with their self-referring canonicals not set up correctly. After they implemented the corrections, I verified the changes through a combination of methods. I conducted a Screaming Frog crawl and utilized the inspect tool, alongside basic SEO extensions, to confirm their proper implementation. They were implemented properly.

While these tools all indicate that the canonicals are now correctly configured, Google Search Console still fails to recognize this, showing "none" for the User-declared canonical and selecting the wrong URL as the canonical.

Regarding the site's content, it's worth noting that the client's site is headless, lacks hreflang tags (necessary since they have multiple language subfolders), contains a sitemap with a redirect, and has a redirect chain for the homepage. I understand that these issues could potentially hinder Google's ability to recognize the implemented self-referring canonicals.

However, once these issues are addressed and fixed, is it safe to say that Google will be able to properly identify the self-referring canonicals in place?

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  • Did you request a recrawl of the site via search console and confirmed that it has been crawled post implementation of the canonicals? Apr 17 at 14:41
  • yup! I submitted sitemaps again and tried to validate fix.
    – Tony
    Apr 19 at 19:07

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Canonical link fixes can take quite a while, especially if they were incorrect on a large scale and Google ignored them completely. In this case, it often seems that Google must first regain trust in the correctness of the canonical links for the domain. The prerequisite for this is that all URLs are first re-crawled, which can take several months for large sites.

If canonical links are used that point to other URLs, I always wonder whether it might even be misuse of the canonical tag. This is often the case when the featured pages do not actually have duplicate content, such as pagination, product variants, or localized pages. Google itself has often cited pagination in particular as misusage.

I believe that websites whose pages have canonical links to other URLs have structural problems with duplicate content that should be solved by consolidating the URLs into a single URL, or by customizing the pages enough to make them distinguishable .

You are welcome to describe for which types of pages your customer uses canonical links, because this is the only way we can give you concrete tips on how to completely avoid using canonical links to other pages.

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